School half term is a great British institution, and as we all know no half term holiday is complete without a visit to London Transport Museum. So half term always produces a spike in visitor numbers, and the museum’s volunteers put their shoulders to the wheel to help maximise the activities on offer.
So on Thursday 1st October 2012 in the galleries of the museum I found Ash Ketchum preparing the object handling stall in anticipation of the rush, and she was soon joined by Ken Richards. The stall had a bus theme and was designed around bus ticketing through the ages. Ash has been fanatical about London buses since she was a young child, and has a family history around public transport in South East London. She has only been a volunteer with the museum since August 2012, so very much a new recruit. On the other hand, Ken has been a volunteer since 1998, originally joining up when he saw an appeal for volunteer guides in ‘On the Move’, the Underground staff magazine at the time; Ken was a Booking Clerk prior to retirement. Since then he has been involved in a range of activities, most recently delivering the ‘Finding the way’ object handling theme.
Later in the day came the rush – inevitably youngsters can’t resist the opportunity to produce a ticket for themselves and try on a hat. Ash and Ken were kept very busy – all I can say is that I hope that the museum has a very large cache of old tickets for future use.
Two young visitors fascinated by the stall were Tatyana De Freitas (above) and Frankie Newman Smith (below), both shown here getting stuck in. Frankie has London Transport history in her family, so perhaps a volunteer in the making..?
After a lot of planning and organising we hosted our very first event, Spoken Word, on March 3rd. The day was delivered by the two talented artists Dean Atta and Laila Sumpton.
We began with the amazing Clive Birch from the Royal College of Art delivering an introductory presentation. He began with his historical involvement in transport then led us into an insight of the Sense and the City exhibition. Finally he left us on an inspirational note of what transport will look like in the not so distant future.
With our creative juices flowing, we dived into several activities that drew out some amazing poetry and free writing from the participants. This continued into the afternoon where we finally created our group performances.
With the support from the Museum, we had members from the Young Volunteers programme as part of the audience that were also kind enough to give wonderful feedback.
Overall it was inspirational workshop that exposed the talent and creativity of young people in London.
With connections from Dean and Laila with Keats House we were invited to showcase the work we had created as a part of the Young Poets Forum open mic, taking place the following day. A few went along and had the confidence to perform alongside other artists.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the two days and are so grateful for all the participation and help from everyone involved.
Written by Gloria Gaspard and Izara de Nobrega (Young Consultants from LTM)
On 9th November 2011 Stories of the World held their annual conference at Leeds City Museum. An opportunity for project co-ordinators and participants from across the country to get together and share news, updates and information about the projects they’ve been working on. Representing London Transport Museum on the day were Michelle Brown (Community Curator), Peter Crump (Young Consultant), Steve Gardam (Acting Head of Live Programmes), Elvis Miranda (Young Consultant), Kway Mokgalagadi (Young Consultant), Rhian Morris (Schools & Young People Programmes Manager), Izara De Nobrega (Young Consultant) and Vicki Pipe (Learning Officer: Young People).
This film, produced by Chocolate Films, explores the ideas and issues raised on the day, and also stars a number of LTM’s Young Consultants!
On Saturday 7th January the Young Consultants took a trip to the London Transport Museum Depot.
We had the amazing opportunity to work with curator Claire Dobbin, and we were luckily granted the chance to help select the pocket maps to appear in the upcoming exhibition “Mind the Map”.
The Depot, based in Acton Town holds the history of London Transport from pocket maps & posters to the last buses and trains of their kind, which eventually receive funding for repair and gets used as exhibits in places like the LTM.
During my action packed day at the Depot I learnt a lot of information on the history of transport which gave me the answers to many unanswered questions.; such as how the underground map we use today was created.
I explored the different types of pockets maps from the past 200 years, looking at various different designers and how and why they have changed.
The second of the My Line documentaries, this time about the Metropolitan line, has now been completed, with the Piccadilly Line film also finished this week. The Metropolitan line film was made by a group of young people from the Beacon centre near Rayners Lane over the October half term. Eight young people, aged between 8-13 years, took part in the three day workshop with film maker Jackson Ducasse, where they shared their experiences of using the line and told stories to highlight the distinctive characteristics of travelling out to the suburbs and into Metro-land.
We’re also started work on the Victoria line and District line films in the past couple of days, so watch this space for an update on them! The Northern line, and final, film will be made in December. Being a Northern line commuter, it’ll be tricky to not show favouritism when they’re all done!
Being a Young Consultant at London Transport Museum is a great way to gain new skills in a working environment. Since April 2011 I’ve been a part of the Young Consultants at LTM, and already I feel like I’ve gained a wide range of skills.
One of the projects I did as a Young Consultant was at Coram’s Fields Youth Centre, where I was able to speak to other young people about work experience. This was to help them understand that there are different ways to gain as well as improve their skills. It was a great way to share a personal testimony on the skills I’ve gained, and how I became a Young Consultant at LTM.
As I am about to leave LTM and move on to study at Coventry University, I want to take this opportunity to let other young people know that the journey they take will not be easy but when they look back at what they have achieved, they can be proud of themselves. If there is an opportunity grab it, because you’ll never know when the next one will come.
Nearly two years after first starting the Young Consultant project we have witnessed so many changes in the museum and with ourselves. Being a Young Consultant has been more than just a job, it has also been a sea of wider opportunities, learning experiences and the beginning of many friendships.
Never has the phrase ‘the world is your oyster’ been more applicable than at London Transport Museum. I believe this because of three main things I have learnt during this experience.
Firstly, I have a greater understanding of what my strongest skills are. By working on a variety of projects, such as giving presentations, facilitating focus groups and interviewing artists, I have had to rely on my communication skills and in particular public speaking. This skill will greatly support my future career aim of becoming a barrister, which I have also been supported in pursuing by the staff here at LTM. The same can be said for the other YCs. We all have many different aspirations, and by having CPD and project evaluation meetings with the vivacious Vicki Pipe and spectacular Steve Gardam we have been supported and encouraged to achieve our goals.
Secondly, this project has allowed me to see first hand the positive contributions that young people can make to society. Although young people often receive negative press, especially in light of the recent UK riots and looting, we feel that it is necessary to emphasise that there are many young people making positive contributions to their communities. For example, the Young Volunteers at LTM who deliver family activities for visitors or even the large number of young people involved in national Stories of the World projects. I feel privileged to be a part of this group of young people and I look forward to a continuous legacy of youth participation.